Some people think that they could walk off their dog on a leash right off the bat. But in actuality, a dog needs to be trained to be on the leash. And as a matter of fact, this can be quite challenging. What if you walk your dog on a leash and it gets off? What is the least effective method to retrieve a dog that has gotten off the leash? You don’t want to face these problems; hence, you must learn how to leash train your dog.
How to Train Your Dog to Walk on a Leash?
Leash training your dog can be quite daunting especially if your dog’s breed belongs to the stubborn category. You can follow the steps below to learn how to successfully train your dog to be on the leash.
Introduce the Leash to Your Puppy
First and foremost, you should start by introducing the leash to your dog. Simply give it to it and let it play with it. You can even let it bite it. This way, it will know that the leash is not harmful.
Afterwards, you should let your dog wear the leash for short periods of time. Play with it and give it treats. If it becomes repulsive in wearing the collar of the leash, give it treats. It will then become used to wearing the leash as kind of a playtime.
Teach your dog cues on wearing the leash just like when you signal to it when it needs to eat. When you feed your dog, you call it first. The instance that it notices you are about to feed your dog, it will come towards you. Do the same for a leash. But at first, reward it with treats when it responds positively to the leash.
Make Your Dog Come to You
Make your dog get used into seeing the leash to be put on it. While holding the leash, call your dog. When it comes towards you, reward it. Back off a few steps, and call it again. If it comes towards you, reward it again. Doing this will enable you to make your dog get used into seeing the leash and knowing that you are going to put the leash onto it with a reward.
This is also effective since puppies tend to have a short attention span. But keep the session short so that it will not become exhausted and would still be willing to do this the next time.
Practice Inside Your Home
Once your puppy becomes friendly with the leash, practice walking it off inside your home. Start with little steps inside your room. Then take it to the living room where you can walk it longer. Offer treats and give praise to your dog when it walks with you with the leash on.
Once you think that your dog has gotten used to walking off the leash inside your home, it is time to take it outside. Start at your backyard. This can somehow be challenging because of various distractions – it will hear, smell, or see various things that might interest it. This happens naturally so don’t get frustrated. You have to be patient. When you think that your dog gets distracted, do the cues you trained on it earlier. Reward it with treats when it follows you.
Do this a few times a week, or better yet, every day so that your dog will become used to having its leash on while you walk it around town or in the woods. Once your dog gets used to it, you should then train it to be right beside you even while its leash is off.
Also Read: How to Train a Cat to Walk on a Leash?
What is the least effective method to retrieve a dog that has got off leash?
One important question that people always ask is what is the least effective method to retrieve a dog that has got off the leash? Yes, it is important for dog owners to have a leash on their dogs when they go outside. It is for security purposes indeed. But having it off its leash is just as important to make it feel free.
Sometimes, a dog will get accidentally off its leash. How will you get it back? The least effective method of retrieving your dog is running after it. This is what most clueless people do. If you do this, your dog will think that you are just playing with it and it will run even faster. It is also possible that your dog will think that you are angry towards it for getting off the leash.
The most effective way to retrieve your dog is to call it back and instead of running after it, run the opposite direction while calling it. This will make your dog chase you. It an also be effective to pretend to fall or faint. Your dog will come back to you.
Leash training a dog is indeed challenging but the fruits of it are fulfilling. Just remember to become patient because dogs may at times become too stubborn. Also, when it gets off its leash outside, or sometimes even inside a big house, don’t run after it. Instead, run the opposite way it is going while calling out its name. And that’s how you leash train your dog. If you have a cat, you can also learn how to leash train your cat here.
Also Read: How to Train a Dog Not to Jump?